British Columbia

9 more die of COVID-19 in B.C. as 752 new cases confirmed

A new acute care outbreak has been declared at Mission Memorial Hospital.

There are 350 people in hospital with the disease, 136 of whom are in intensive care

A masked person checks their phone in downtown Vancouver on Oct. 4. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

British Columbia announced 752 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 5,945 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 350 people are in hospital, with 136 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 2.9 per cent from last Wednesday, when 340 people were in hospital with the disease and about 37.3 per cent from a month ago when 255 people were in hospital.

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 6.8 per cent from 146 a week ago, but up by 7.9 per cent from a month ago when 126 people were in the ICU.

 

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 1,992 lives lost out of 191,124 confirmed cases to date.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows: 

 

There  are a total of 18 active outbreaks in assisted living and long-term care, including outbreaks at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and the University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

A new outbreak was declared at the Mission Memorial Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Fraser Health says six patients on a medicine unit have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of this outbreak, and the unit is temporarily closed to admissions. All patients and their families have been notified.

The emergency department remains open and the health authority says there has been no impact to any other areas of the hospital.

As of Wedesday, 88.4 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 81.9 per cent a second dose.

From  Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 70.2 per cent of cases and from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4, they accounted for 77.6 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province. After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are eight times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated, it said.

So far, 7.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.8 million second doses.

Vaccine mandates

This week, health officials announced COVID-19 vaccines will soon be mandatory for thousands of employees in B.C.'s public service and for visitors to many health-care settings, including long-term and assisted care.

The B.C. Public Service Agency said Tuesday in a statement anyone working for the public service will need to have had both shots by Nov. 22.

 

Roughly 30,000 people work in the public service in B.C. and those working "in core government or ministries" will be required to provide proof of full vaccination with their vaccine cards.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced on Tuesday there will be an order coming into effect Oct. 12 requiring all long-term care and assisted living workers to have a first dose and a second dose within 35 days of the first.

 

Ottawa is also mandating vaccines for federal government employees.

The Canadian government says it also "expects" that other employers in federally regulated sectors — like banking, broadcasting and telecommunication — will require vaccination for their employees.

Anyone who is eligible for immunization and has not yet received their first and/or second dose can do so by booking an appointment online, calling 1-833-838-2323, or registering in person at a Service B.C. location.

With files from Brittany Roffel and Breanna Himmelright

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